Gippsland Galaxy footballer Sarah Jolly is usually known for her speed on the football field and her ability to position herself to get the ball.
But on Thursday she demonstrated a different ability when she correctly identified the last move in the inaugural AFL women’s draft.
“I was chatting to some friends and I was saying how funny it would be if I
Jolly became the final pick of the draft when she was snapped up by Melbourne and the Sale-based on baller said she could not be happier.
“I’m very grateful to the Melbourne Football Club for selecting me, knowing they’re the pioneers of women’s footy,” she said.
“They’ve been there from the beginning promoting the women’s comp and to be playing for them makes it even more special.”
Jolly’s success in the draft comes just weeks after she was named the Victorian Women’s Football League division three best and fairest for her role in Galaxy’s undefeated season.
Galaxy defeated Fitzroy in windy conditions to claim the division three premiership this year after winning the division four flag the previous season.
Despite her success, which included being selected last year for AFL Victoria’s women’s academy and being the league’s top goal kicker this season, Jolly said she was not confident ahead of the draft.
“I didn’t have any expectations – I felt like there was a little bit of pressure on me because I did win my league best and fairest and I knew a lot of VFL girls would be picked,” she said.
“I knew it was going to be tough… but I couldn’t believe it when my name got called.”
In addition to playing for Gippsland this year, in April Jolly represented Victoria against the Northern Territory and played three games for VFL Women’s side Knox when Galaxy had byes.
For the past two
“I’ll just have to wait and see what the coaches think – I’d say I’d be more suited to a mid or forward role.”
Galaxy coach Nikki Schroeter said Jolly deserved her success.
“I thought she might have been picked up a bit earlier,” Schroeter said.
“Anyone who’s seen her play before knows how good she is at the game and what she can bring to the game.
“She hits up targets and she knows where to position herself as well to get the ball – she’s one step ahead of most of the players.”